Archive for October 2005

Some Metablogging

Heavy Metal Thunder asked me the other day how to create an RSS feed with Blogger. Well, I poked around today, and found out that blogger now automatically includes an atom feed on all blogspot blogs. It is at “atom.xml”, so now I can subscribe to the rest of the treehouse gang. You guys need to put up orange “XML” buttons up linking to it, though. That will let idiots like me and autosubscribing programs find the link. A cool way to do it is in CSS, with instructions here.

The other thing is that I am about ready to give up on commenting on blogger comments. The stupid captcha is getting ridiculous, and I’m about done dealing with it. If you don’t know what a captcha is, it is those stupid illegible (and that is literally it with some of them) characters at the bottom that you have to type in to comment. They are a pain in the ass and generally don’t work. Blacklisting and whitelisting work on spam, as does Bayesian filtering. Captchas don’t. To get a captcha that is effective against spam, you end up with one that is also effective against people, meaning I can’t tell what the fuck the computer wants me to type. I’m expending energy to improve your site when I comment. When it gets too inconvenient to do that, I’m not going to bother. I’ve simply discarded two blogspot comments (both for R) simply because I failed the captcha and I didn’t feel like dicking around with it. I stopped commenting on LiveJournal blogs that used captchas for the same reason, and I’m about to stop with Blogger. With all of Google behind blogger, and thousands (if not millions) of users all on the same system, they should have the most effective blacklist in creation, and instead they have a half-assed, ineffective piece of shit 20th century captcha. I’m about through with it.


This superb satire. Because it can’t be straight.

God help us when our military strategists are basing wars on Starcraft simulations.

(Via Smash)


Am I the only one who sees the humor in Chinese Margaret Cho calling Filipina Michelle Malkin racist?

The Banned Book Meme

Via hamstermotor:

Bold what you’ve read completely.

Italic for partial reads.

Continue to ignore the rest.

1 The Bible

2 Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

3 Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

4 The Koran

5 Arabian Nights

6 Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

7 Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

8 Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (In modern and middle English)

9 Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (hideously bad book that I would never have read had I a choice)

10 Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

11 Prince by Niccol� Machiavelli

12 Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

13 Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

14 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

15 Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

16 Les Mis�rables by Victor Hugo

17 Dracula by Bram Stoker

18 Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin

19 Tom Jones by Henry Fielding

20 Essays by Michel de Montaigne

21 Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

22 History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon

23 Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

24 Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

25 Ulysses by James Joyce

26 Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio

27 Animal Farm by George Orwell

28 Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

29 Candide by Voltaire

30 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

31 Analects by Confucius

32 Dubliners by James Joyce

33 Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

34 Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

35 Red and the Black by Stendhal

36 Capital by Karl Marx

37 Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire

38 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

39 Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence

40 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

41 Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

42 Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

43 Jungle by Upton Sinclair

44 All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

45 Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx

46 Lord of the Flies by William Golding

47 Diary by Samuel Pepys

48 Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

49 Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

50 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

51 Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

52 Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant

53 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

54 Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus

55 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

56 Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X

57 Color Purple by Alice Walker

58 Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

59 Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke

60 Bluest Eyes by Toni Morrison

61 Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

62 One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

63 East of Eden by John Steinbeck

64 Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

65 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

66 Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau

67 Gargantua and Pantagruel by Fran�ois Rabelais

68 Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes

69 The Talmud

70 Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau

71 Bridge to Terabinthia by Katherine Paterson

72 Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence

73 American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

74 Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler

75 A Separate Peace by John Knowles

76 Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

77 Red Pony by John Steinbeck

78 Popol Vuh

79 Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith

80 Satyricon by Petronius

81 James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

82 Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

83 Black Boy by Richard Wright

84 Spirit of the Laws by Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu

85 Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

86 Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

87 Metaphysics by Aristotle

88 Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

89 Institutes of the Christian Religion by Jean Calvin

90 Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse

91 Power and the Glory by Graham Greene

92 Sanctuary by William Faulkner

93 As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

94 Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin

95 Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig

96 Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

97 General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud

98 Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

99 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Alexander Brown

100 Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

101 Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines

102 �mile by Jean Jacques Rousseau

103 Nana by �mile Zola

104 Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

105 Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin

106 Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

107 Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein

108 Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck

109 Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark

110 Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Records Show Miers May Have Violated Non-Existant Law – Politics – Records Show Miers Owned Gun

AUSTIN, Texas — Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, who once owned a .45-caliber revolver, is not licensed to carry a concealed handgun in Texas. State officials refused Monday to reveal whether she has ever been licensed.

Which is completely irrelevant, because you don’t need a license to have a gun in Texas. You only need a license to carry it concealed in public.

Miers’ brother gave her the Smith & Wesson (search) handgun when he was worried about her living alone in Dallas. Judge Nathan Hecht of the Texas Supreme Court, a longtime friend of Miers’, has said she kept the gun for a long time.

Which is completely legal. However, if it turns out that she didn’t register the transfer with any government agencies, it’s OK because that is legal too.

State law requires the release of information about license holders but not former license holders, said Pamela Smith, assistant general counsel for the agency.

Which is completely irrelevant, because you don’t need a license to have a gun in Texas. You only need a license to carry it concealed in public.

A person in Texas can own a gun without a concealed handgun license. Texas is one of 43 states that allow concealed weapons, and more than 230,000 residents are registered under the law.

WHICH IS COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT BEC… Oh, OK, four paragraphs into the story they tell you that everything up until then has been a complete waste of your time. Way to go, Fox.

Why, why, why did this story run? Is Fox really biased to the extreme right-wing, and this is part of the “Get Miers” campaign? Or is the extreme left-wing full of shit about Fox’s bias, and Fox really will run anything that gets attention?

For All You Non-News Aggregator People

Google just gave a kick in the pants to Feed on Feeds, my preferred reader. I’m not migrating away from FoF yet, if ever — I like the idea of it residing on my own server space — but I want to see what Steve is going to do with FoF. A lot of people will fold when they end up head to head with Google, and I don’t fault them for it. Of course, the ones who don’t usually have a reason the fight the fight.

The Big Ten

Here in the federal courthouse in Memphis, there is a big brass plaque. On that plaque is the Bill of Rights.

The Ten Comandments are important. Even if you don’t subscribe to a Judeo-Christian belief, most people will agree that sticking to the Ten Commandments is a good way to live a moral life. (All the witchburning is later in the book.)

They are both great documents, the Bill of Rights and the Ten Commandments. I feel much better, though, seeing the latter on the courthouse wall.